Iloilo. The town of Mina in the province of Iloilo is now 100 percent covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
A 4th class municipality in the 3rd district of Iloilo , Mina is the first LGU in the area to push for the universal coverage of its constituents. Now on its seventh year of implementation, it has enrolled a total of 4,175 indigents in the Sponsored Program.
Recently, PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Rey B. Aquino was invited to the LGU's grand assembly to personally distribute the PhilHealth cards to families.
The LGU's participation in the Sponsored Program was initiated by former Mayor Rey Grabato and was continued by his successor, his wife Mayor Lydia Grabato. The Grabatos said that PhilHealth is a great help to their health program especially in defraying the medical and hospital expenses of their constituents. Earlier, Mina had availed itself of the 50 percent discounted premium share when the town was adversely affected by typhoon Frank.
According to Grabato, the PhilHealth Capitation Fund enabled them to improve their Rural Health Unit and it now operates as an accredited 3-in-1 facility, equipped with modern medical equipment. Last year, the LGU erected another edifice which houses their laboratory rooms. The services have been extended to patients referred by nearby districts.
Meanwhile, Aquino said that PhilHealth's goal is to provide faster and easier medical subsidy to all indigents in the rural areas. He revealed the adoption of a case payment scheme for certain medical and surgical cases soon. He is hopeful that PhilHealth patients will be free from out-of-pocket expenses for their hospitalization.
On the other hand, he called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the LGUs to check on and hasten the consolidation of their lists of beneficiaries. He said that the DSWD and the LGU, through their social welfare officers, should compare their lists of indigents to correct double entries and missing names to ensure that all bonafide indigent beneficiaries are receiving their proper benefits and priority from the national government. Aquino also noted that certain LGU indigent beneficiaries are not in the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) list of the DSWD. The government's thrust is to ensure that the enrolment of indigent families under the NHTS list will be fully subsidized by the national government. (Larry T. Tabsing, PhRO VI)